Here in Michigan winter can be a formidable enemy. We have to protect our homes from freezing temperatures, snow, wind and ice. Much like our fall maintenance checklist, we put together a guide of winter safety tips for both outside and inside your home.
Protect outside from the cold weather
There are several things we can do to prepare for winter. Here is our guide of what to take care of outside before the freezing temperatures hit;
Make sure all your outdoor faucets are turned off. Place a bib or protector over the spigot. These are usually made of foam and can be found at most hardware stores.
Ensure your gutters are clean and downspouts are clear. This will help ensure ice does not form and cause them to sag or break.
Drain any outdoor water features you may have such as shallow ponds, bird baths, and fountains.
Seal any holes or cracks you see in the foundation. You can use sealant for cracks and holes and window stripping around windows to keep the cold air out.
Ensure you know where the whole house water shut off valve is and it is accessible. If you have a line burst from freezing temps you will need to quickly shut off the water.
Check your attic ventilation. Make sure there is no insulation blocking the vent or soffit. Proper air flow will allow for warm air from the attic to melt snow or ice forming on the roof.
Protect inside from cold weather
Just like there are several things we can do outside to prepare for the cold weather, there are also things to do inside to prepare for freezing temps. Here is our guide of what to take care of inside before the freezing temperatures hit;
Have your furnace inspected to ensure it is in good working condition and has a new filter.
If any of your water lines are on an outdoor wall you may want to keep your faucets at a low drip to keep the line from freezing.
Make sure all your doors and windows have draft protection under or around them. For doors you can place a sweep under them. Windows make sure to keep closed and blinds or drapes drawn unless there is direct sunlight.
Run ceiling fans on low in reverse to draw warm air up.
Make sure to keep your garage door closed.
Make sure the insulation in your home is up to date and the attic and basement are properly insulated.
Wrap your interior pipes with insulation to keep them warm and functioning properly
Make sure your thermostat is set to a winter schedule to combat freezing temperatures.
Keep hairdryers and small space heaters nearby in case you need to thaw a pipe - this works well for fridge lines as well .
Keep blankets and flashlights available as well as preparing your generator if you have one in case of a power outage.
Other things to consider
Protecting your home against the cold weather is essential, however there are a few other things to consider in cold weather climates.
Make sure you have thick blankets in your car in case you break down.
Keep your phone charged at all times and especially if you need to leave the house.
Keep a flashlight, hand warmers and a safety kit in your car.
Keep a bag of clay kitty litter or salt in your garage to place on icy steps and driveways.
Keep a bag of clay kitty litter in your trunk - if you get stuck it will give you traction under your tires
Stock up on food and water - especially canned goods and non perishable items.
Make sure you have gas in the car and a gas can ready for a generator if needed
Fill prescriptions ahead of time so you don't run out if a storm hits
Hire a handyman to protect your home
Being a homeowner can be challenging. Having a handyman service you can rely on can bring you peace of mind. The little things can add up but you can avoid both major and minor home catastrophes with regular home maintenance.
With the home maintenance service through Multi Lakes Handyman Service, you’ll receive regular checks on the interior and exterior of your home. Our team knows how to spot a small problem and fix it before it becomes an expensive problem.
Inside your house, we look at every room in the house – including the garage and attic, which are the most neglected areas in your home. We can help make the inside of your house more energy efficient while also fixing anything from a chipped tile to cabinets that are coming loose. Give us a call today to get started.